Through the past, present and future
…this is the story that cannot be told in a few words and is being written endlessly…
It should be remembered that all those who, at a certain moment, come into contact with “Zetea”, including you, contributed and contribute to its writing…
Somewhere in Europe, on the ancient lands of Transylvania in today’s Romania, in an area called “The last bastion of plums”, an innovative family, from a masons’ guild that built numerous edifices, probably considered that they needed a clean, natural and good stimulant, such as that resulting from the distillation of fruit.
This is how it happens that over a century ago, that is, somewhere around the 19th century, one of Silviu Zetea’s ancestors laid the foundations of this activity.
From then until today, and for a long time from here on, this uninterrupted activity has been, and will be, marked by the genetic and viral legacy of creating.
It is known that the old Ioan Zetea was known as the one who built a palincie in a place symbolically called “Pe Groapă” in a depression in the village of Viile Apei, close to his household, around 1900.
Only the well from which the water was drawn for cooling remained from this palinze, the well being fed by a spring.
It can be said that he had the necessary knowledge from his ancestors, because the region is known as the cradle of the palinca, documented in this region, even more than 500 years ago.
Taking quick steps through history, we arrive at around 1940, when one of Ioan Zetea’s sons, named Valer Zetea, stands out for the fact that he builds several palinci, not being the only son who does this but certainly the most persistent.
He built several palinki, in Viile Apei, in Viile Racșei and one in Medieșu Aurit around 1964, somewhat forced by the circumstances at the time, given the semi-legal context in which it had to operate.
Although we were in a statist society given by the communist regime, these entrepreneurs of the time managed to keep their small property and operate under the patronage of the former state enterprises, called Vinalcooluri.
This, and perhaps due to the fact that even in those days, palinca, brandy, brandy and its derivatives were pleasant to the body and soul, as it is today.
In those days, Valer Zetea, supported by his family, set up a fruit collection center at his home, which his son, Silviu Zetea, remembers with nostalgia.
Being an open nature, Valer Zetea, gifted with initiative, an entrepreneur in the true sense of the word, although undeserved, leaves this world in 1975, managing to pass on his character to his descendants, who together with his wife, Florica Zetea, continue this tradition of fruit processing and distillation.
Valer Zetea had five children, three boys (Ioan, Vasile and Silviu) and two girls (Viorica and Florica). Of these, the boys have expanded as they have started their own families.
Ioan Zetea stayed with the palincia from Viile Racșei, Vasile Zetea took over the palincia from Cicârlău and built a palincia in Remetea Oaș and the middle son, Silviu Zetea, stayed with his mother, at the palincia in Medieșu Aurit, which he took care of from the age of one young, being a school student at the time.
Since those times, there was a concern for innovation, modernization that ultimately led to what we see and taste today.
Look, we have arrived at the period after the 1989 revolution, when Silviu Zetea, just like his father once stood out, and animated by the burning desire to carry out this activity in a legal framework given by a democratic society, in which capital was no longer considered illegal, he established an independent enterprise for the first time, thus fulfilling his father’s dream.
The small enterprise newly established at the beginning of 1990, PRIVAT SILVIU ZETEA, later transformed into SRL, based on law 31/1991, is gaining momentum and, despite the vicissitudes of the time and system blockages, new market phenomena, such as that of unfair competition, has been continuously developing ever since.
As a result of the perseverance and vast skill of the entrepreneur, Silviu Zetea, next to whom this time is his own family, somewhat correlated with a so-called beautiful madness to make, if we can speak figuratively and call it that, his will , the new horizons and prospecting is shaping up promisingly.
Immediately, the new project is started and the reconstruction of the palace is started, placing great emphasis on quality and representativeness. Also then, in 1991, the company’s emblem was registered as its own coat of arms.
The provision of services is then developed, which ensured the transition to production activity.
Aware of the need for innovative protection by protecting intellectual property, the ZETEA trademark was registered in 1994 and a new stage, that of production, was moved on.
The innovative system is developed by switching to triple distillation, to still-fire boilers and equipped with a simple deflagration system, of our own design, which implicitly leads to an increase in the quality of the product, at the same time giving the brandy, a particularity, its own imprint on the products. This method was later called the ZETEA method, being unique in the Romanian area.
In 1994, after a market trial, the first products from the ZETEA brand were put on the market.
Unfair competition, the mentality that traditional fruit spirits are not suitable for the chain of prestigious restaurants, being considered only suitable for weddings, christenings and funerals were just as many obstacles but they were successfully overcome.
The legislation in force, somewhat contradictory, has put Silviu Zetea in an unprecedented position, that of a market maker. Trailblazer, still fighting the system, realizing this fact, moves to a new stage, that of giving the products an image commensurate with their quality and representativeness.
Closely supported by his family, his wife Teodora Zetea and children Gerard and Tanita, since 2000, after a well-thought-out strategy, he has been launching luxury products on the market.
Although initially, friends and those around did not believe in Silviu Zetea’s project, after obtaining international recognition by obtaining the silver medal at the World Profile Competition in Brussels 2001 and other numerous distinctions and appreciations, despite all the difficulties, he manages to position the new its products where they belong by law and in fact, i.e. on the representative luxury or niche market as it is also called.
On this occasion, the expression Zetea sells refrigerators at the North Pole, that is, sells expensive palinka in Romania, also appears.
As was normal, people interested in this success appear, the commercial activity gaining new momentum.
The products Țuica Zetea de Transilvania and Pălinca de Ardeal soon become highly appreciated, a fact reflected in public impressions and in the reports, writings, and events that begin to take place on their side.
Each member of the family is actively involved both in the creative side and in the promotion and sales side, facilitating in a certain way the work of the main creator of the ZETEA brand, giving him satisfaction at the same time.
ew products appear, new approaches, the sphere of involvement is expanded, actions that ultimately lead to a new momentum that we could call, even a different new beginning.
At the moment, without the involvement of the whole family, wife and children, the activity of the Zetea company would remain without consistency and motivation.
Resisting temptations, addressing problems decisively, directly, today we can say with certainty that the future of this family business is secured, and the story continues to be written, writing in which we invite you to participate, because those who follow this presentation through and through, you represent exactly the reason we exist, and for that we thank you.
P.S. These memoirs, if we can call them that, were written in an exceptional place – La Pălincie Restaurant in Baia Mare, Maramureș, in the historical area, a restaurant belonging to the author’s son, Gerard Zetea, as a place to promote Zetea, in a moment of reflection.